If you’ve got a green thumb and a desire to refresh your professional life, why not consider franchising with a gardening business? You could develop a profitable and passion-driven franchise in just a few years, supported every step of the way by your franchisor. Most importantly, you’d always have room to grow.
If you’d love to plant roots in the gardening sector, this is a great time to make your investment, and the franchise business model is a strong choice. Here’s how to make a career change with a gardening franchise, moving smoothly from one role to another (along with a few reasons why you might choose to do so).
Why start a gardening franchise?
In July and August 2020, Google searches for the term “gardeners near me” peaked at the number 40,500 [KWFinder]. Plus, in a recent survey, 1 in 20 respondents said that they employed a gardener [Lakeland]. That’s an evidently large amount of demand, and in the past year, the desire for quality gardening services has only been on the increase. Even beyond demand, there are many advantages to investing in a gardening, landscaping or lawn care franchise, including:
- Plenty of repeat customers and repeat business
- The flexibility to tailor the range of services that you provide
- The chance to become a specialist in a gardening niche, providing customers with expert advice
- The ability to regularly work outside, in the fresh air and away from a desk
- The option to turn to your franchisor and proven business model whenever you need support or guidance
If you like growing plants and being outdoors, you might enjoy a career as a gardener. Many people like being gardeners because of the flexible hours, the ability to work outside and the knowledge that you're helping plants grow and thrive.
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How to make a career change with a gardening franchise
If you’re currently looking into how to make a career change, and gardening is one of the avenues that interests you as a next step, there are certain things you can do to set yourself up. Here’s a simple list of the three bases you’ll need to cover in order to successfully make a career change with a gardening franchise...
1. Assess your skills and find a suitable specialism
If you’ve ever wondered why so many people choose to become franchisees, this is one of the main reasons: Franchisees receive an extensive programme of training and support when they invest, fully equipping them for success, even in industries that they don’t have any experience with. That said, even when you don’t need experience, it can be helpful. Plus, there are certain transferable skills that you’ll definitely need to thrive as a gardener, regardless of experience level. Skills such as:
- Customer service
- Time management and organisation
- Precision and attention to detail
- Knowledge of plant, lawn and flower care techniques
- Physical fitness and strength
- Manual dexterity
When you know where your strengths lie, it’ll be easier to figure out where in the gardening sector you fit in. It’s a broad industry, and there are plenty of franchise opportunities from a variety of specialist areas to consider, as well as roles that range from fully manual to fully managerial. Here’s an idea of some of the garden-related specialisms that you might come across on the hunt for the perfect investment opportunity:
- Formal garden management
- Forestry and woodland garden management
- Plant nursery management
- Fencing installation
- Lawn laying and care
- Organic farming
- Plant videography
- Landscaping and garden design
- Domestic gardening
- Commercial gardening
2. Narrow down your list of opportunities, paying close attention to cost
Once you know what you’re looking for, you’ll be in a position to start narrowing down your options. As you do, pay careful attention to important factors like the full cost of investment (including ongoing fees and overheads), the franchise’s existing reputation (with customers AND franchisees) and the locations that are free for you to franchise in. After all, the ideal franchise opportunity in completely the wrong operational territory isn’t the ideal franchise opportunity at all.
The amount that franchising with a gardening business will cost will depend on a number of factors, such as brand recognisability, size of operational territory and maturity of the franchise network. On average, the cost of opening a franchise in 2018 was £42,200 [British Franchise Association], but to give you a more sector-specific idea, here are some gardening and lawn care franchise investment costs to peruse:
- TruGreen - To become a TruGreen franchisee, you’ll need to make a minimum initial investment of £8,400, with a total investment cost of £28,000, a royalty fee charged at 10% and a monthly advertising fee of £42 (after the first six months).
- Colourfence - To become a Colourfence franchisee, you’ll need to make a minimum initial investment of £20,000, with a total investment cost of £35,000.
- StumpBusters - To become a StumpBusters franchisee, you’ll need to make a minimum initial investment of £7,500.
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3. Put in the work at every stage of the process
This should be the simplest step to remember, but it’s a place where some franchisees slip up. From the depth of your initial research and self-understanding to the due diligence you complete before signing the franchise agreement, all the way to the work you do once you’re in the role and building a business, it all matters. It all has an impact on the success of your career change in the long term.
Just keep in mind that the work won’t stop when you sign your name on the dotted line - in fact, that’s when it will truly begin. You’ll need to work hard, plan ahead and make sure that you’re working in harmony with your franchisor and your network, while building a customer base and providing quality services. One aspect of this will be marketing your gardening franchise effectively. Here are a few suggestions on that front:
- Listen to your customers
- Invest in digital solutions
- Encourage reviews
- Don’t be afraid to stand out
Enter the gardening sector and start running a franchise today, enjoy profit and satisfaction tomorrow
If this article has left you even more certain that you’d love to pursue a career in gardening, landscaping or lawn care, you can start your industry research today. Stay on Point Franchise to discover some important tips for running a gardening franchise, or to read all about an average day in the life of a gardener within a franchise network.
Lily Sweeney, Point Franchise ©